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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  November 17, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm EST

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across the midwest. have a great sunday. you're watching al jazeera america live from new york city, i'm jonathan betz with the headlines. intense moving storms and tornados left at least 19 injured, according to media reports. in illinois millions face potentially threatening weather across so midwestern states. there are multiple reports of damage from one tornado in the central part of illinois, emergency officials are determining the extent of the damage. >> chicago players and fans attending the chicago bears baltimore ravens game at soldier field were forced to take cover. >> in russia a boeing 737
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exploded during landing killing 50. the flight had a crew of six and 44 passengers, there's no word of survivors or the cause. >> french president francis hollande met with israeli prime minister benyamin netanyahu today. top of the agenda iran's controversial nuclear program. francis hollande assured benyamin netanyahu that france will continue to fight the easing of economic sanctions against iran until it was certain the country would end its nuclear weapons program. >> i'm jonathan betz, those are the headlines. "america - this weekend" is next. and find us online at aljazeera.com. fire.
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. good evening, thank you for joining us. joey chan is on assignment. you are watching "american tonight - the weekend edition", it's a week since typhoon haiyan made landfall in the philippines, and the crisis is far from over. typhoon haiyan was the strongest storm ever to hit that island nation, leaving mass destruction. tens of thousands of people are homeless. thousands are dead. "america tonight is joey chan community. >> it felt as if we reached the end of the world. after hours of driving through debris and devastation we arrived at the end of cebu island, to a tiny community typhoon.
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>> what was it like when the storm came? >> it's frightening. we were here in our office. i think that's the strongest i have experienced. before? >> no, first time. it is best to describe it like a sound of a 747. and, you know, the office - is burst. >> the mayor said when times are good, this is hardly a wealthy community. there are farmers that catch tuna. 86,000 live in this part of the province, the fact that nine died is almost a miracle.
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the mayor said it is because when leaders demanded evacuations the community responded. . what was important... >> evacuation. 32 evacuation centres. all of them could have died. we are just lucky. >> what do people need the most. >> shelter. we have more foods coming in. and water. >> shelter is the biggest thing. >> yes. >> if you have any disease -. now. >> the mayor tells me as bad as it looks now, he's grateful for a steady stream of outside help starting as soon as the winds died down and the helping hands of locals who volunteered at his offices to off-load donations
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and transfer them to the people that need them the most. remarkably with school after school ripped apart, the district plans to invite students to come in on monday and the children tell me they intend to be there. you don't have power or water. >> we have, but we are waiting for the relief goods. >> you are waiting for the relief goods. >> yes. >> the big challenge is to figure out how to bring isolated communities like this millage back. it's hard to figure out where you would start. community leaders promised that the power will be restored. they have been promised that it will take a month. >> as hard as it is to believe the mayor insists he's optimistic about the future. >> some mayors said, "please, if you have some other city to go
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to, go to cebu, or go to manila, people? >> no, i'm still telling my people to stay here. we'll rebuild. we can still stand. >> you believe you can rebuild. >> yes, ma'am. >> as bad as it is? >> yes, we can. with the assistance of, you know, foreign countries, national government. i am sure. there's a lot of helping hands coming in. i am sure we can rebuild it. up. >> i am sure, sure. nobody will give up. >> between the broken houses, and along the debris strewn lanes the work has begun, and the mayor promises anything that comes from outside difference. >> joey chen reporting from the philippines. our coverage of the storm continues sunday night in a special report "typhoon haiyan - the philippines in crisis" joey
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chen will stay in cebu, broadcasting 9:00 pm eastern. still ahead - a broken system. after years of dedicated service, sev eerily wounded veterans of stripped of honour and support. veteransism. >> we have been at war for so long. so many are funnelled into that avenue that it's clogged. commanders are stuck in a position where if they try to get them out medically, they are stuck with them maybe for a long consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares
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in a professional athlete?
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>> every morning from 5 to 9am al jazeera america brings you more us and global news than any other american news channel. find out what happened and what to expect. >> start every morning, every day, 5am to 9 eastern with al jazeera america. . this week we celebrated and honoured our veterans and all the sacrifices they made. in an "american tonight" report we look at unpleasant side of that left
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some veterans abandoned even after years of extraordinary service. >> this is iraq. you can see the big teeth, a big smile here. this is before the accident in iraq. >> gerald jenson joined the army at 34. older than the average recruit. he was called to duty in 9/11 and deployed in 2006. he was at driver of a commander. he was an exemplary soldier. in the fall of 2007, jenson's patrol was attacked. an explosive ripped through his humm vi, blowing off part of his vase. he managed to drive away, saving his commander, before being shot in the arm and back. it brought him a purple heart.
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>> you can see the stitching. it goes all the way around. this was two months after that. surgery. >> doctors rebuilt his jaw with tit anium. after two years and 16 surgeries jenson volunteered for a second combat tour - this time in afghanistan. he was assigned to a remote outpost that faced daily attacks from the taliban. soldiers called it "barely alive", six months into his tour, jenson fell and rebroke his jaw. doctors did their best to patch him up a second time. >> they redid all the tit tainium, extending it all the way forward to here. >> half his face was permanently numb and he had no teeth. are you beginning to think it's time to leave the military? >> yes. >> you weren't on your game.
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you had an extraordinary career, incredible experiences. >> i had trouble with my knees and things. finally they asked if i had enough. >> and you said? >> i said yes. >> jenson was transferred to the warrior transition unit to help wounded active soldiers - helping them heal and for those like jenson, whose military careers are over, help them transition. once there the commanders were bent on getting rid of him. they wrote him up for minor infractions like showing up late for a medical appointment sore stopping short of a line. he had been prescribed pseudoephedrine which can cause a false positive in a drug test.
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>> they said i was dui. i said, "i'm on these medications, and i'm not doing anything illegal." >> jenson asked to be retested. instead wtu commanders told him they were kicking him out of the misconduct. >> they looked at me and told me that i didn't deserve anything. >> senn son says the army wanted to push him out with no unemployment insurance, no gi benefits. >> not only did the army want to kick him out with no benefits, they wanted to give him an other than honourable discharge, an icing on the cake, a bad icing, stopping him getting benefits.
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>> dave is a reporter in jenson's home town. he heard stories about soldiers like jenson and spent months writing about soldiers forced out of the military without benefits. >> if they are kicked out with an other than honourable discharge, they dent qualify for va, unemployment - they are left with nothing. >> it's called being chaptered out. soldiers may be discharged from reasons ranging from tardiness, substance abuse to serious crimes like assault. many have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and some also have traumatic brain injuries. both of which influence behaviour and judgment. >> the number of soldiers kicked out for misconduct has gone up every year since the war in iraq began.
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if you look at the army post the post most effected by post-traumatic stress disorder, 67% injuries. it's suggesting that a lot of the misconduct is driven by the constant deployments. >> since 200676,000 soldiers have been chaptered out. veterans advocates oliver ez say jenson's story is not uncommon. they have seen case after case of wounded combat veterans pushed out. >> the moment you stop providing proper and appropriate and individually tailored treatment to an individual suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury. the person has a high potential problems. >> do you have a sense of how - of why they are selecting individuals for this fast-track? >> these people are a burden on the units. they are taking up valuable positions.
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they can't replace them. they'll say they have a mechanism to replace them. but the fact is you can't get in the wtu. they have tightened it down so much the parameters that no one can get in. medically discharging a wounded soldier can take a long time. replacement soldiers can't be ready for combat until the process is complete. >> we have been at war so long. so many people have been flooded into the avenue. commanders - if they try to get them out they are stuck with them. maybe for a long time. if they are kicked out for weeks. >> we asked for an interview. they declined. they gave a statement:
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>> the army is on record saying they'll downsize the military by 80,000 if not more. and are on the record saying 40% of the downsizing will be accomplished through administrative separations. what we are seeing is part of their policy. >> similar cases have been reported at combat bases across the country, from hawaii to texas to north carolina, and not just in the army. >> andrew long grew up hunting with his sister. at age 19 he joined the air force and was deployed to afghanistan. he was knocked unconscious when his humm very ran over an ibt tpi. >> i feel my service over there
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was probably some of my best moments of my career. how productive and how vital everybody's role was. >> he was awarded the purple heart and named airman of the year. privately his life fell apart. >> i was drinking heavily. i knew there were things going on that could probably be looked into as far as the mental deployment. >> less than six months back from deployment long was involved in a dui accident and an altercation near the bar. he involved in the military substance abuse program. military medical staff argued on his behalf. his commanders refused to connect his misconduct with combat-related injuresies. >> the soldier - they may be combat veteran. they are not as sharp as they used to be. they want to get rid of them.
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the easiest way is chapter. >> an army medical command confirmed some are targeted for misconduct charges to get them out of service. he identity. >> if they have someone they don't like, they target him. they set um formations in a place for the individual. they make a plan when the individual doesn't show up. they'll write him up. a soldier on edge. they push them to get them to lash out. >> a lot of service personnel are pushed out without unemployment insurance, without benefits of any time, access to the gi bim, any kind of support. what happens to them. >> the majority of homeless. i have seen soldiers taken to the front gate with a position and sat down.
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they don't have a car. they don't have a family. they are out there with a flat screen tv sitting in the grass. >> in july andrew long was discharged from the air force losing access to benefits like the gi bill and unemployment insurance. his discharge form sites misconduct and drug abuse. >> there was no drug abuse. i never came up hot on a piss test or abused medications. when an employer or an agency who helps veterans reads this, they now look at me in a different light. >> do you think this is the result of a policy on the part of the u.s. military. >> this is not part of a deliberate policy, but the result of a dysfunctional policy. because the medical discharge system is so clogged. because it leaves commanding officers stuck with soldiers who
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can't do their jobs, it creates an incentive at a ground level to get the guys out in another way. >> service personnel like andrew long moved back to his parents in oregon. for a while he lived on food stamps. jerry jenson's story doesn't end as badly as most. weeks before he was to be pushed out of the army, a general who had been met and been impressed by jenson intervened. she called for carson commander. she said, "knock it off. let the guy out medically in the way he earned." they did. but the statistics show a lot of other injured guys didn't have anyone to call and they were kicked out. >> today jenson lives a short drive from fort carson. his health deteriorated and he
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is waiting for approval of an operation ta would give him teeth. >> this is a service army. these are volunteers. this should mean a lot. >> you don't think it means anything today? >> no. it's sad to say. i don't think if means anything. sometimes the soldiers are so broken down, their dignity has been stripped. when you sit down and talk to them, i have to remind them of who they are - you graduated from your basic training, you passed the physical, the written test. remember that day. remember who you were then. >> that's "america tonight's sheila mcviccer. still to come - from the assembly line to the bone yard. budget cuts at the pentagon. we take you to the arizona watch dogs call government waste.
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power of the people until we restore our freedoms and r
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right now brand new expensive military airplanes sit parked in the middle of the arizona desert. c 27 j spartan cost more than half a billion of your tax dollars. they are being moth balled, it's an example of government mismanagement and waste. for an up-close look at the controversial military spending i travelled to the bone yard in toussaint arizona. >> collecting dust in the arizona desert the u.s. military's fleet of c 27j spartans. at $30 million a piece, the cargo planes are idle, without a cuts. >> they are here because the air force had to reduce budgets. >> colonel robert leper is in charge of this air force base called the bone yard.
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it's the u.s. military's largest aircraft storage facility located to toussaint arizona. a dozen c 27 js are here. >> it is the only place in the world where you can see 4,000 aeroplanes at one location. >> colonel lepper took "america tonight", on a tour of the 36-00 air base, from the cold war to the iraq war - thousands of planes with a unique history. the dry arizona weather a storage. >> what am i looking at? >> this c27 started the preservation process. what we do is try to make sure we can maintain the aircraft in the best possible condition. this aircraft has gone through the flush farm. we'll take the plane, wash it, make sure it's clean. get dirt and things off. we'll flush all of the fuel out of the aircraft. >> i can imagine with a plain
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like this you don't have to do a lot of cleaning, it looks brand new almost. >> it's in great condition. >> most planes here sit indefinitely, some are scrapped for parts, others choped up. the future. >> in this case, with the c37js they'll be used by someone else. >> they won't sit for long. >> not too long. >> why is that? >> the value is tremendous, they are paid for. someone in the federal government or we could sell to an ally will take the aircraft and put them back into service. they are too good a deal. >> some planes like this from the mississippi national guard have seen action. >> the crew wrote, "not for long." >> they don't want to to stay in the bone yard." other planes ordered before the sequester will come straight here from the factory.
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the c37j was commissioned five years ago to enhance the air force's cargo fleet. it can take off and land on shorter run ways much the u.s. military ordered a total of 21, valued at $567 million. pentagon announced special operations would get seven of the planes. that leaves 13 parked here. as we speak there's another in production. when it rolls off the assembly line in tex a it will be decommissioned immediately. level. >> michael o'hanlon is a taxpayer watchdog with the brookings institution. he says the c27j was an extravagant purchase, approved before the 2010 elections when the rise of the tea party led to massive cuts in the pentagon.
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>> this is a partially redundant program is easily to justify when the budgets are flush. these have a niche purpose and we can think of other ways to carry out the missions. >> local owners say they have seen this before. jeffrey rogers is the head of toussaint's democratic party and yard. >> there's a lot of waste. a government contractor says let's build the engine in washington state and the superstructure in texas, and the i'vionics in massachusetts, and spread the jobs around america so a whole lot of people lobby for an aircraft to be purchased by the military. >> that's what happened with the c27j. despite the pentagon's plans to stop the plane, ohio senators and other fought to keep them
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going claiming hundreds of jobs were on the line at national guard facilities there. >> there's a lot of politics and senators in congress looking to keep jobs in their districts. it's a perfect way to keep jobs and equip the military. >> with half a million already spent the defense department is making plans to unload the remaining 14 aircraft. >> they will be regenerated for somebody in the federal government and i expect soon. >> what are the possible uses for the c 27j. >> right now the three most common are three entities - special operation command, guard. >> the handovers could cost taxpayers more money. for example america tonight review a proposal. it wants to use the aircraft as
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transport for parachute teams for firefighters and convert the plane to air tankers. the expensive reconfiguration calls for removing the body armour, and the cost of the firefighting equipment. the brookings institutions o-hanlon says the pentagon needs to be cautious. >> if you can retro fit for so-20%. original pris -- 10-20% of the price tag makes sense. if you spend more, it doesn't. >> it needs to be carefully looked at. >> yes, you don't do this to make your conscious feel better or cover someone's flank. sense. >> whatever happens to the planes, the commander of the bone yard says he'll keep the c27 js good as new until they find a use. >> the aircraft will be as good
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in shape as it is today. it will have the full service life. >> taxpayers have nothing to worry about. >> everything we do at the bone yard is designed to support the planes. the planes have a tremendous capability, i'll be excited when they have a purpose to get them out and support the war fighter. >> we reached out to senators brown and portman and had no response. there's another option. the military could selt the plane to an -- sell the planes to an ally. it's highly unlikely based on past experiences that the pentagon could sell them for the original price. >> locked up for life. an introduce with davis. >> i look at the news. i see people get out of prisonery day. i always will have hope that my day will come. i just got to stay focus the on
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that. >> start with one issue education... gun control... the gap between rich and poor... job creation... climate change... tax policy... the economy... iran... healthcare... ad guests on all sides of the debate. >> this is a right we should all have... >> it's just the way it is... >> there's something seriously wrong... >> there's been acrimony... >> the conservative ideal... >> it's an urgent need... and a host willing to ask the tough questions >> how do you explain it to yourself? and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5 eastern only on al jazeera america
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i'm phill torez. coming up this week on techknow. san francisco's bay bridge, an engineering marvel but this is earthquake country. >> how close are we to one of those faultlines? >> now inovation, that might change everything. >> how safe is this building? >> earthquake inovations,
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>> where would you wanna be if a big quake hits? >> techknow sunday 7:30 eastern on al jazeera america now our crime and punishment series. in the united states 2500 people are serving mandatory life sentences for crimes committed as children, without any chance of relief. last year the u.s. supreme court ruled that was unconstitutional. in this exclusive report we go inside an illinois prison and we speak to a man sentenced to life
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in prison. >> in october 1990. three members of chicago's gankster disciples set out to settle a score. the youngest, two months past his 14th birthday was davis. >> i hear a lot of people talking about gangs. my destiny was written when i was born into a chaotic family. being born in as many other kids are born into it - it's like i - life is written for us. >> in the turf war that followed two rival gang members were shot dead. he was tried as an adult and convicted of double murder. he never fired a gun. if you are part of a group that commits a murder, you are a murderer. sentencing was unforgiving the the double homicide required the judge to impose the harshest of
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the sentence, life without parole. the 14-year-old boy was sentenced to life in prison. >> the message today to every criminal gang praying on the incident is clear. we many to put you out of business, break the backs of your organization, to put you away for a long time. >> the "90s in chicago, vicious drug wars overwhelmed the city. adolpho davis's case barely created a ripple. >> i heard life, i didn't understand i would be in prison. >> 23 years after the night of violence, davis is behind bars in crest hill illinois. now his case is at the center of a nationwide movement to rethink the
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juvenile justice system and write old wrongs. >> i always will have hope. hope that my day will come. >> in the summer of 2012 davis found a reason for hope. in the case of miller v alabama the u.s. supreme court issued a ruling: >> the question was not weather kids could be locked up for life. it was permissible. the real question was whether it was mandatory tore judges and juries should be allowed to consider mitigating factors - like a person's roll or upbringing. patricia's son works for the policies. >> at the time of sentences no court considered dt characteristic of youth, the facts of the offence, the specific role that they played in the offence.
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>> on this point the u.s. supreme court was clear. a child's circumstances matter. punishedment. >> the question is whether it applies retroactively, whether it plied to the old cases. >> his fate is in the hands of illinois's supreme court where he makes an application that the new ruling applies to old cases. >> illinois is being watched. a couple of courts came down on the side of retro activity and a couple on the side that it isn't. this is an issue about how much we want to undo wrongs that we did in the 1990s. >> father dave kelly met a young davis when he was locked up at
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14, barely 5 feet tall, just over 100 pounds. what was your first impression of him? >> scared. heap was scared. he was a strong little guy. there was a one on one. there was a level of fear of what this would mean. >> kelly learned of his troubled home life, absent father and drug addicted mother. his grandmother was the primary caregiver. between her sick husband, disabled sun and grandchildren she struggled to provide support and supervision. >> my grandmother took care of me and everybody else. but she couldn't keep an eye on me. it led me to the streets. >> davis's first brush with the law came at the age of nine. >> i was hungry. i saw a girl come out the store with a bag. i smashed the bag of food. i was hungry. she held on to the bag, i took
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the food stamps and the food. i went and ate. police caught me eating. >> he grew up living outside of the house more because of the chaos within the house. there wasn't food, not the tinges -- things that a little kid needed. as he got older he hung out with older guys in the gang. they took care of him. >> they gave me a roof, i was eating, i was getting $350 for looking out for the police. i'm like, "this is - this is heavy yen." >> davis's unstable family life was documented by the illinois department of children and family family family services. they acknowledged he had fallen through the cracks. prosecutors argued that davis could have stood with his hands in his pockets and he was guilty
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of home invasion and first degree murder. >> in 1983 a jury found him getty of double murder. no matter of the circumstances the court was required to give him the mandatory sentence. >> how long did it take to process that you would be here for the rest of your life? >> not until i went to the center. >> years. davis stuck to his gang. he landed at tames correctional center. he was entering four years in isolation at the age of 21. >> a reality sunk in. everything slowed down. my life hit me like bang. >> what happened. >> i was able to think. i was able to clear my head of all the attitude that i had
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throughout the year. >> jill stevens was his therapist during the time in isolation. of all the prisoners she cansedly. something about him stood out. >> he had a good rapport despite a horrible background. most people would feel like you'd need to be a haynous remorseless person to be locked up for your entire life without the cans to go before a parole board to see what they think of you. it boggles my mind that anyone chooses to use illinois's limited resources to keep davis in prison for more than he has been in prison. >> what is your biggest fear? >> dying in prison. >> why? >> because it's - i don't know
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want this to be the last thing i see. it's a beautiful world out there. it's like a might mare. >> there's no way you can reopen all the cases. for resentencing. you cannot recreate due process of law to cases that are decades old. >> victims much violent crime are taking a stand against the notion that old cases could be reopened. jennifer bishop jenkins took these cases worldwide. her sister and brother-in-law were murdered by people like davis. she said the thought of the cases being reopened... >> i was traumatised. going through two years of legal proceedings in his case was devastatingly overwhelminglyive.
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>> the trial, the death of two people is horrific. my heart goes out to the families. all the punishment of davis will not help the families. that's the punitive system that we are a part of. the illinois supreme court will decide davis's fate. with time off for good behaviour released. >> what's the first thing you this. >> go to disneyland. i'm serious. i want to be a kid. i want to do things that i was not able to do. disneyland. >> i want to do things like that, and see things. i was going to a museum, but as a kid. i didn't pay attention to the exhibits.
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i want to go there and take in the things i have missed. >> what do you think it will be like if you do get out, going back and outside. >> i think about that. it's scary. you know how you never been to prison. when you out there. all the terror that you feel is reverse for me. this is all i know. >> if he is released davis will walk into a world that has been transformed and in others is the same. the poverty rate in washington park was the highest in the nation in 1990. and remains so today. the streets they are filled with hungry kids going desperate things to survive. now the courts will have to listen to their stories before passing judgment.
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>> still to come - the life of the party. you'll meet america's oldest dj. his love for a city, his job and family. that is next on "america tonight."
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>> audiences are intelligent and they know that their
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>> finally he's a creature of habit and tennessee's friendliest wake up call. he's the voice of chattanooga, there's a reason fans embraced luther masingill for decades. we are told he's part of tapestry of the town, but for most they call him luther. >> this is chattanooga, 5.5 minutes after 9 o'clock. >> he's unlike anybody else. he is chattanooga. >> i'm looking out the window. morning.
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>> at 91 years old luther masingill is the oldest broadcaster in the united states. his career spanning more than seven decades. he still types his scripts on a royal typewriter. long-time doris. >> i think luther will die behind the microphone. it's something he loves. it's in his fibre. i think he'll do this till the very last breath he takes. >> his story begins in the don of the world war ii. when 17-year-old luther worked at a gas station. the owner of a radio station pulled in looking for gas. he found more. >> he said, "you have a good voice, are you interested in radio? ". i said, "i haven't thought much about it. but sure."
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he said, "we are having auditions." i went down. he said, "read this." i went in, read it. he said, "you did all right. would you like to be the apresentize or cub announcer." i'll take it. >> at that moment luther going. >> louie jordan with, "it's been said." >> and going as vinyl ill became tape and is still going to this day as tape became digital. >> found a jack russell terrier area. >> did you think back then you'd sit in a radio booth today? >> this many years later, no, i did not. i didn't get in it thinking, "i want to make a life-time of this. it was pleasant work, good pay.
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not too much at the beginning. >>. >> what is the most interesting animal you found? >> an al-iingator. it escaped. someone brought it up here from florida. it scared the daylights out of the neighbours. announcements. >> good morning, you have a missing dog? >> thousands of grief-stricken chattanoogas called luther looking for missing members of their family. afternoon. >> sunday afternoon. >> if you were keeping a dog for a friend out of town and you lost it. >> i can't remember a time when luther wasn't in our home. seriously, since i was in diapers, he's been on the radio. it was a constant voice eating school. >> cloudy skies.
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>> james howard has been luther's cohost for 20 years, born at the height of the luther's influence. and james has his own luther story. i was nine years old. it was my responsibility to feed my dog andy. one day i went to go feed andy, and he was not there. i'll never forget. mum looked at me and said, "james, i'm going to call luther andy." >> did you get andy back? >> yes, three days later we were sitting around the table, the phone rang. mum gets up and see answers the phone and she goes, "hay, sh it's luther. yes, luther." he had found andy. andy was less than a mile away from the home. >> james wrote a book called "my life with
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luther" an indepth look at their friendship, and fluns on chattanooga. luther almost caused a gas shortage during the carter administration. what happened. >> it took simple words. what luther says people believe. luther went on the radio and said there's a gas shortage, beware, we need go fill up. well, everybody did that. and by the end of the day, we were - there wasn't a drop of fuel in and around chattanooga. >> in the tennessee valley. >> that's right. that. >> yes, "luther, don't do that again. it's aggravating." i said, "i'll try not to." >> we managed to find one person who hardly ever listens to luther's show. you heard him talk about you on the radio? >> i really don't know, because i don't listen to the
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radio. i'm sorry. show. >> no. >> everyone in chattanooga listens to it. >> grounds for divorce, yes. >> mary and luther got married in 1957. they live in the same house they moved into 60 years ago. >> we met in church. i knew his mother way before i knew him. >> when you heard that he was this radio personality in town, did you have second thoughts or think, "this is different? ". >> did you change your mind. >> maybe i should have. no, i didn't change my mind. he was always so nice and sweet and calming. >> two kids later. >> yes. >> two grandkids later. >> still in love. >> still in love. >> yes. >> yes. anything. >> i wouldn't trade you for anything either. >> come on. >> honey. >> is the onion rings good. >>
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luther's long-term loyalty goes behind career and marriage. every tuesday he lumps with the same group of friends going back decades. this? >> no, the man loves radio. he loves his work, he should keep going. >> some of the people - i could love you. >> i guess so, i don't know. >> he is said to be the only person in the world on air for both pearl harbour in 9/11. in addition to working his radio shift. the 91-year-old appeared on wddf television, daily. >> luther, welcome to the hall of fame. that is yours. >> . >> luther was welcomed into the national radio hall of fame last year, and chattanooga gave him its own honour. >> what's it like when you drive by the sign on the way to work?
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>> it's a good feeling because they spelt the name right. >> luther, you are, i think, it's fair to say, you're the oldest dj in the u.s. right now. >> that's what they say. title. >> people kid me about it, "when are you going to retire?" i i have no plans", if my voice fades as it does in an older person, and i'm at the old age, 91. if if quivers i'll step down. morning. >> have you ever found your dog? >> it's incredible when you go around the town and the way people react to him. i can only imagine what it will be like when he's gone? have you thought about that? >>
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yes. >> it will be a big loss? . >> yes, absolutely. absolutely. i don't like to think about life without luther. because the book's called "life with luther", i don't like to think about that. but i know - i know that that day will come. it will be a sad day. >> the love for luther spread well beyond chattanooga. leading to many job offers from bigger markets like new york and philadelphia. >> no never really seriously entered my mind to move out of the chattanooga, and take a job that was so much more lucrative to what i had. >> you could have been rich? . >> yes, i could have been rich and you people would von... no, i'm okay. >> i don't know what i would have done if he was rich. >> yes, she wouldn't have taken
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me, yes. >> but he's nice. i think i'll keep him around for a few more years anyway. >> no oh, boy. >> we hope he's around for a few more years. the people of chattanooga love him. that's it for "america tonight", join us sunday for a special report "typhoon haiyan - philippines in crisis" joie chen will be in cebu reporting live. if you would like to comment on any of the stories you have seen, log on to the website at aljazeera.com/americatonight. meet the news team, get sneak previews of stories we are working on and tell us what you'd like to see. follow us on twitter and on our facebook page. goodnight to all of you watching. .
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>> you're watching al jazeera america, we are live in new york city. i'm jonathan betz with a look at the top stories. >> two are dead after a tornado strikes central illinois, cutting a wide path of destruction. the severe weather is not over. >> the philippine president pledges to sleep with survivors. >> a boeing 737 crashes and burns in russia, killing everyone on board. . >> the
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